Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Gavipuram Guttahalli, Bangalore: Part 1: One of the very ancient cave temples in India

Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is a natural monolith carved cave temple, located at Gavipuram Guttahalli, about three kilometers from the city market. The ancient temple was cut out of the rock probably in the 9th century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are other idols inside including the idol of Agnimurthi, which has two heads, seven hands and three legs. Those worshiping this deity believe it will cure one of all eye defects. The temple is also noted for its four monolithic pillars, which represent Damaru, Trishul and two fans in the courtyard. Temple timings are from Morning: 7 am to 12.30 pm and Evening: 5 pm to 8.30 pm.

There was a board near the temple which read: This is one of the very ancient cave temples in India. Sage Gouthama performed penance and three times a day Pooja to Shivlinga, is called as Gouthama Kshetra. Sage Bharadwaja has also done penance here. There are two idols of Sage Gouthama and Bharadwaja in cave path surrounding the main shrine. The outer mantapa in front of the cave entrance had 14 pillars of Vijayanagara style. In the big corridor the beautiful, unique and rare granite stone structure like two suryapanas, a trident a dhamaruga (Shiva’s instruments), two Shikaras on the cave, a tower on the rock outside the temple compound and a parasol on the Harihararayana Gudda are all said to have been built during the period of Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore.

The Shivlinga inside the main shrine of the cave is tall and attractive. Interesting part of it is that, the water of the pedestal of Shivlinga is to the right, always thin stream of water flows in this cave. Ishwara adorns Ganga in the cave to become Gavi Gangadhareshwara to the right of the main shrine are the smaller shrines of Parvathi and Durga, there is a long path surrounding all these shrines, beautiful idols of Sapthamathrikas, Sridevi and Bhoodevi installed in this passage. Another cave path bifurcates, belief is that one goes to Kashi and the other to Shivaganga.

On Makarasankranthi day of every year a beam of sun rays pass through two windows of the south facing temple and slide down through the horns of Nandi, disappears after touching Shivlinga, thousands gather to see the rare phenomena.

Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple:

Inside Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple:

Trident:

Suryapana:

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